PML-Q tells PTI to honour commitment on ministries as rift widens


–Pervaiz Elahi complains to CM Buzdar that PTI’s promise to give PML-Q two provincial and an equal number of federal ministries remains unfulfilled

–Punjab CM says will take up matter with central leadership, as Fawad Chaudhry claims no ally will leave PTI govt


All is not well between the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its major coalition partner — the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) — as Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has reportedly failed to convince PML-Q leader and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to withdraw the resignation of the Q-league’s sole minister in the provincial cabinet, in a meeting late on Friday.

PML-Q is an important ally of the PTI both in Punjab and at the Centre with 10 MPAs and five MNAs, respectively. As the PTI is ruling especially in Punjab with a tiny majority, it cannot afford to lose the PML-Q.

According to sources privy to the details of the meeting, Elahi complained to Buzdar that the PTI’s promise to give PML-Q two provincial and an equal number of federal ministries remained unfulfilled. Sources said that Buzdar expressed ignorance about the ‘commitment’ made by the PTI leadership but assured the PML-Q leader that he will take up the matter with his party’s leadership.

According to reports, Buzdar assured Elahi that all administrative actions, including transfer and postings of government officials, would be taken after consulting PML-Q.

The political situation deteriorated when Punjab Minister for Mines and Minerals Ammar Yasir, the lone minister of the PML-Q in the Punjab cabinet, tendered his resignation on Friday to Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Elahi, only a few days after PTI’s Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry talked about creating a forward bloc in the PML-Q.

PML-Q leader Chaudhry Moonis Elahi had also warned the PTI that Fawad Chaudhry’s statement about creating forward blocs in other parties could dismantle the PTI-PMLQ alliance.

Meanwhile, Fawad Chaudhry told reporters on Saturday that the government would address all reservations of the PML-Q leadership and no coalition partner will leave the government.

He said that all political parties reserve the right to do their politics according to their interests.

“PTI and the PML-Q are not one party, we will address the latter’s reservations soon. We regularly meet Chaudhry brothers, no coalition partner is leaving the government,” he said.

In his resignation, Yasir pointed out unwarranted interference, undue pressure and hurdles in his ministry since he assumed the portfolio over four months ago. “Owing to undue pressure and hurdles, I can no longer perform my duties, therefore, I resign,” the minister stated.

A source privy to the development said that Yasir had spoken to CM Buzdar about the “unnecessary interference” and appointment at top positions of his ministry “without his say”. However, his grievances were not heeded to, the source added. “Despite bringing this matter to the notice of Buzdar many times, no step was taken by the CM to address it, which is very disappointing, leaving the minister with no option but to resign,” he said.

PML-Q Information Secretary Kamil Ali Agha said that Yasir had “serious reservations” and he had taken this step as a last resort after these were not addressed. “However, the party leadership will see this matter and try to resolve it,” he added.